Biosciences PhD student has research recognised by the Microbiology Society

Anna Rawlings, a PhD student in the Department of Biosciences, supervised by Professor Dan Eastwood, recently attended the Society's Annual Conference in Edinburgh.

Anna Rawlings pioneer fungiAnna presented a poster on pioneer fungi which was selected for special focus.

Anna is researching the the role of obscure mico-organisms that live in dead beech tree branches and has already identified 85 species of pioneer fungi. These exist in highly variable communities with some species being found along the entire length of a branch while others only appear in specific areas.

This new research suggests that decomposition actually starts above ground on the lowest hanging branches where these fungi are able to break into parts of the wood that other fungi can't reach.

Read more about Anna's fascinating research here